Sonntag, 29. Januar 2006

Lost and found

Remember I wrote about the CDs I was missing when I tried to sort my CD collection alphabetically about a week ago? (I think that post was in German.) Well, guess what? I found the CDs! I went upstairs into the room where most of my stuff is stored (I moved back in with my parents more than a year ago and my bedroom isn't big enough for all my things.) to look for them. First, I couldn't find them at all, but when I was about to leave the room, there was this big blue box that I hadn't looked in yet and I opened it, and there they were! All 3 LotR soundtracks, Robbie Williams, R.E.M., Savage Garden and some others. Cool.

I also found other things in the box, among them the Fossil watch I'd been looking for for ages. Yay!

So what do we learn from this: I don't lose things, I just forget where I put them (which is probably almost as frustrating as actually losing them, but I can't help it).

Freitag, 27. Januar 2006

My desktop

I thought I’d post a screenshot of my desktop as it is at the moment. I love customizing things, i.e. I like skinnable applications. I wanted to be able to have more than the desktop themes Windows XP offers, so I downloaded a patch that let’s me change the styles, or designs, as they’re called in XP (I think). Uh-oh, it seems I don’t really know the vocabulary to talk about this stuff in English. But I’ll try.

Anyway, my current visual style (of which you don't really see a lot except for the taskbar) is one that makes the computer look a bit like an Apple, or looks like OS X or whatever. It’s called Milk Redux and is by KoL and Dragonblade. Where I found the wallpaper I can’t remember.

The calendar is Rainlendar with AeroLendar skin. (Oh, when looking up the URL of the Rainlendar site, I noticed I haven't got the latest version of RL ... must update soon ...)

The dock icons are from ObjectDock, but the dock itself is a different one. I love the dock, it’s so much prettier than having icons all over the desktop.
If you’re looking for skins and all sorts of computer art, I can really recommend DeviantArt.

Happy Birthday, Mozart!

Today would have been the 250th birthday of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We basically consider him one of ours, although Germany and Austria are different countries – our relationship is probably comparable to that of the USA and Canada or something like that. Anyway, Mozart is all over the TV schedule at the moment. My TV is on and I’m listening to a live concert on arte (Franco-German TV channel) from the Berliner Staatsoper (National Opera(house) in Berlin). Someone’s playing a violin concert. Don’t ask me for details. I do like Mozart, though. I have one CD with the piano concert (or concerto?) no. 21 in C major (KV 467) and the piano sonata in A major (KV 331), which includes the pretty famous “Alla turca”. They are played by Mitsuko Uchida and the English Chamber Orchestra. That CD helped me when I was in college because for some reason I was able to concentrate when I was listening to it.

As to Mozart’s other works, I’m not much into opera music (I prefer piano concertos or symphonies), but the melodies from Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) are beautiful, such as the aria of the Königin der Nacht (Queen of the Night).

Sonntag, 22. Januar 2006

Lists of Four

Found this in Cissa’s blog and thought it would be fun to do.

Four movies you could watch over and over:
1. The Truth about Cats and Dogs (and almost every romantic comedy, such as You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, Four Weddings and a Funeral etc.)
2. Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel (see Merry Christmas post)
3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially the first film (The Fellowship)
4. Bringing Up Baby (and a couple of other films with Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn)

Four websites you visit daily:
1. Jeopardygirl’s blog
2. DWDL or Quotenmeter for TV and ratings news
3. Synchron-Forum for information about film and TV dubbing
4. my 3 mail accounts (if those count)

Four albums you can’t live without (at least at the moment):

I’m more a radio and mixed tape person, really. But there are a couple of things I love listening to while I’m driving:

1. Inxs’ X album – old, but good. Too bad Michael Hutchence is dead. I love his voice.
2. my tape of a Juanes concert in Germany. His songs always put me in a good mood and make me smile and I’d love to know more Spanish so I could sing along better.
3. my tape of a Josh Groban open-air concert in L.A. (I think this one’s available on DVD. ) My favourite songs are America (originally by Simon & Garfunkel), My December (originally by Linkin Park) and Remember When it Rained
4. Chariot by Gavin DeGraw – this one I do have as a CD. Fave songs: the title track and I Don’t Want To Be

Four places I’d rather be:
1. The place where I went to university, or somewhere not too far away from it, because I miss my friends and would like to be closer to them again.
2. Sydney, Australia. Can’t really say why. I’ve never been to Australia, but I’d like to go, especially now because of the wet and cold weather in Germany.
3. Dublin or Galway, Ireland. I’ve been there and liked it.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark or Stockholm, Sweden. Haven’t been there before, but I speak the languages a little and the 2 cities are supposed to be really beautiful.

Hm, except for number 1 I think I’ve kind of more answered the question “Where would you want to spend your next holiday?” or “Which places would you like to visit sometime?” Anyway, on to the next one:

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Just four? That’s hard. (And I’m not kidding.) So I’ll only name shows of which new episodes are on TV at the moment.
1. Gilmore Girls. Definitely a show that has maintained its high quality writing for more than 1 or 2 seasons, which is very rare, IMO. It’s such a funny show and I can’t believe it hasn’t won more awards. I’d move to Stars Hollow any day!
2. 24. Jack Bauer rocks! I didn’t like Kiefer Sutherland before he took that part, but that has definitely changed. Season/Day 4 just started here, and it’s really good because Kim is gone and Tony is back!
3. Las Vegas. The first season just started here. Josh Duhamel is cute and the show has a cool look to it.
4. ER. As with 24, we’re one season behind the US, so we still have Carter. Most episodes are very depressing or make me cry, but I’m a very loyal viewer.

Hm, I’ve only listed American drama series. I also could have listed Verliebt in Berlin, a German telenovela, and Deutschland sucht den Superstar, our version of American Idol or any other version of Pop Idol. I’ll stop now before I start writing down every single show I’ve ever watched …

If you've read or done this questionnaire before, you might notice I have left out a couple of questions – the ones about food, jobs and places I’ve lived. That’s because I can’t or don’t want to answer them.

More music

On Friday my sister wanted to borrow 2 CDs from me.

Ach nee, ich wollte ja auf Deutsch schreiben. Also: meine CDs sind dummerweise über mehrere Zimmer im Haus verteilt. Also konnte ich nur eine der gewünschten finden und hab abends beschlossen, mal meine ganze Sammlung in einem Zimmer unterzubringen und neu zu sortieren. Alphabetisch, und dann noch Soundtracks und klassische Musik und Sampler extra. Also hab ich viele kleine Stapel auf meinem Bett und dem Fußboden gemacht. Es sind ca. 130, aber hinterher hab ich gemerkt, dass einige fehlen, z.B. Listen without Prejudice, Volume I von George Michael und mehrere Robbie Williams-Alben. Oh, und meine 2 R.E.M. Alben, fällt mir grad ein. Und Savage Garden. Mist, ich hab echt keine Ahnung, wo die sein könnten. Und es fehlen sicher noch mehr, an die ich gar nicht denke im Moment. Evtl. hab ich was davon meiner Schwester geliehen. Ich vergess so was immer. Zu blöd. Ich bin echt so ein Schlamper ...

English summary
: I sorted my CD collection in alphabetical order and noticed that a couple of CDs are missing. As my CDs are in more than one room in the house, I have no idea where to look for the ones I can't find or who might have borrowed them. I'm sooo messy ...

Montag, 16. Januar 2006

Copying Coldplay

Something I’ve noticed recently is that several bands seem to be stealing something from the excellent British band Coldplay (whose lead singer Chris Martin is Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, of course): the piano intro. You can hear one, for example, in one of my favourite Coldplay songs, Clocks (from their 2nd album A Rush of Blood to the Head). Currently there are two songs where I’m like “Oh, great, Coldplay … no, wait a minute, it’s not them at all, or is it?” when I hear them on the radio. The first one is I Still by the Backstreet Boys. The other one is Celice (sp?) by A-ha. Both are good songs, but I just don’t like other bands ripping off one of Coldplay’s trademarks. It’s a cheap trick. (Hee, that’s a band name!)

Now you might say: “Wait, she’s talking about copying Coldplay! She can’t do that without mentioning Keane, who are the biggest Coldplay rip-offs (if that’s a word)!” Keane are a three-piece British band who do sound a bit like Coldplay because they use a lot of piano in their songs, too, but I like them, so I won’t hold that against them. Their singer Tom Chaplin always makes me smile because he’s got a cherub-face, i.e. he looks like one of those slightly fat angels you can see in old paintings. Or you could say he looks a little like a hobbit. And he makes strange moves on stage, which can look funny, too. Cute. Keane’s keyboard player Tim Rice-Oxley (very posh-sounding English name, BTW) is very attractive. But to my defense, I must say I didn’t know what any of them looked like when I first heard their music on the radio (at the end of 2004 that was, I think). I’d post a picture of Keane to illustrate what I’m talking about, but I don’t have one at the moment. So I’ll recommend this Austrian fan page instead. As to their songs, I can recommend all the songs they released as singles from their first album Hopes and Fears: Somewhere Only We Know, This Is The Last Time, and Everybody’s Changing. I love the lyrics of the latter one especially. Track 3 off the album, Bend and Break, is fantastic, too. I hope their second album will come out soon.

While I’m talking about music, I’d also like to mention someone else I like: Natasha Bedingfield. Her connection to Keane is that she did a great version of their song Somewhere Only We Know on an English radio station once (I think an MP3 file of that can be found at the Austrian site I mentioned). She’s from New Zealand (I think) and her brother Daniel is a singer, too. He had a song a couple of years ago that I love, If You’re Not the One. Haven’t heard much from him since, although I do think he has a new album out now. His sister had her break-through last year with her first album Unwritten. The title track is excellent and the video to it is beautiful, too. The song starts like this:

I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

In other words, the song kind of looks at life as a book, and, being someone who loves books, I like that idea very much.

Another great song of hers is Wild Horses, the last track on the album (if you don’t count the hidden track that follows). I only really noticed that song recently when I was sitting on a train listening to music on my discman (no, I don’t have an iPod or any other kind of MP3-player, how very old-fashioned of me, right?). The song is about feeling stuck and wanting to change one’s life, but being scared to take risks. The lyrics totally hit a nerve with me and I almost started crying, but the train had just stopped so there was noise and people were walking past so I was distracted.

Um, yes, so much for that. Thank you and good night : )

ETA: the A-ha song I meant wasn't Celice, but the title track off their current album, Analogue.

Crappy connection

I had written a long new post and wanted to post it yesterday, but my stupid dial-up connection was so slow that I couldn't get anything done. Grrr. I'll try to post my new blah blah tonight, so please bear with me and stay tuned : )

Note to self: don't forget to write that post about the list of books I'm reading (hab ich letzte Nacht beim Einschlafen verfasst in meinem Kopf).

Sonntag, 8. Januar 2006

Random things, about New Year's Eve, mostly

First of all, happy belated new year!

Next, I don’t want to get into trouble for posting pics that don’t belong to me, so I’d like to say that I found all those I posted on the web. Copyright to the actor pics goes to the networks and for the puzzles to Schmidt Spiele or Thomas Kinkade. Very interesting, right? ;-)

What else? I had a good new year’s eve. I’ve had ones spent at home just eating and watching TV. One year I even ended up crying in bed. That wasn’t fun at all. But this year I visited my best friend and we celebrated at another friend’s dorm. We ate lots of food and had fun. I didn’t have time to get depressed and I was happy about that. At midnight, we went out on the street cos my friend’s boyfriend wanted to shoot some fireworks, but I got very scared from the noise and smoke. I even thought some part would fall on my head. I’ve been outside on new year’s eves before and never thought that. Very strange. So I went back to the dorm and watched the fireworks from outside my friend’s apartment and waited for the others to come back.

In other news, I hate my computer. My DVD drive won’t work except for 2 minutes right after booting the computer. Now I can’t watch the DVDs I got cos my DVD player can’t play them either. Grrr. Also, my beloved Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client has been behaving very strangely for a while. I think it started when I set it up to receive e-mails from my Googlemail account with it. Double grrr.

That’s it for now. I wanted to post something else, but I can’t do that yet cos I haven’t found a certain picture I need to make the post funny.
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